The Moving Asia Project (MAP) initiated this year, is an exciting theatre collaboration that will involve artists from Performance Group Tuida, Korea, actors from Adi Shakti, folk
performers drawn from across India and a creative production team drawn from both
countries. With residencies planned in both countries across 2012, this production is
likely be ready for touring in August 2013. This theatre project is commissioned by InKo
Centre and AsiaNow Productions with support from Korea Foundation. Yosup Bae,
Artististic Director, Performance Group Tuida, speaks of the collision, collation and
re-creation that is in store as this theatre project takes off with the first residency at Adi
Shakti in January 2012.
In 2010, we visited India with our performance “The Tale of Haruk”. It was the first time that we performed to the Indian audience. We met them twice, in Chennai and Bangalore. I remember they were the most fantastic shows that we’ve ever done before. I still don’t understand what kind of energy it was which they gave us. It was something like raw fish, blazing flame, or sun shower. I thought ‘That is India’. And we also had a workshop with Indian actors, dancers and other artists. It was about subject and object of performer. After the performance and the workshop, I got a
suggestion from InKo Centre on working with the Indian artists. I snapped at it. There was no doubt that this was a good chance for me and our team to enlarge our point of view on the theatre and the world. But just after we decided to do this project, I was faced with the question of where we should start from. First of all, we should understand the Indian people, culture, history and myth. Last summer InKo Centre arranged a research trip for us and we as we toured, we
began to develop some understanding of Indian folk performing arts. This tour was really helpful to me to understand Indian people and the society and their culture. There are many traditional art forms which are still alive in daily lives of Indian people. Specially, I was moved by Baul singers who were from north India. His deep and beautiful voice seemed to be out of this world. I’d love to work with him someday. At the end of the tour we visited Adi Shakti laboratory for
theatre arts research, where we had been one year before. We talked about the system of the theatre group like them and us. And we confirmed that we both were interested in having some friendship and exchanging theatre inheritance from each other’s traditions. And I thought that we could start an exchange workshop from that point. Then we will be
able to find a way where we should go.
Hindu mythology is really elegant cosmology. Its world is full of various metaphors. I was impressed by an episode in the Mahabharata - the unfolding of the Bhagavadgita. When Arjuna in the middle of the absurdity of war meets Krishna, he understands the secret of the life. Krishna, the Avatar of Vishnu and also of all the Gods in the Universe, shows him His reality. I wonder who could be an Avatar nowadays. We are always seeking for someone who can give an answer to the
problems of our lives. An Avatar is not a special person, I think. He could be one of my friends, or family, or someone who is sleeping on the street. Hindu myth is an abundant pond, a source, from where we could start.
When I was invited to work with Indian artists, I was attracted by the Indian traditional art forms, such as Kathakali, Kalarippayatu, Kathak dance, Chau, Mohiniyattam, Kudiyattam, etc. But we are contemporary artists, so we need to extract essences from them. In this regard, Adi Shakti is an outstanding theatre group. Their acting methods are firmly based on the Indian traditional arts. We also have been trained with the techniques from Korean traditional dance and theatre. I think Adi shakti and Tuida are on the same wavelength in this concept. After collision between the two different traditions, new particles could emerge.
Some people ask what Asia is. And, what is India? And, What is Korea? When I first visited India last year, I was a little surprised by the Indian people who use different languages even though they are not so far from each other. But they think they are Indian. I wonder what makes them think they are Indian. In case of us Koreans, we use the same language, have similar conventions and similar appearance, and so on. However, the Indians have mythology which is
still effective in their real life. In the journey of this project, I hope we could encounter and develop some ideas; what Asia is, what being human is and what I am.
Yosup Bae Artistic Director, Performance Group Tuida
The Moving Asia Project is commissioned by InKo Centre and AsiaNow Productions with support from Korea Foundation.
The Korea Foundation, established in 1991 as an affiliate of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, aims to promote awareness and understanding of Korea throughout the world. It aims to enhance international goodwill and friendship through the implementation ofvarious international exchange programmes. The major Foundation activities include support for Korean Studies programmes overseas; fellowships and grants to encourage and assist foreign students and scholars interested in Korea; intellectual exchanges and forums to promote bilateral ties with other nations as well as people-topeople interactions to boost mutual understanding between Korea and other countries;cultural exchanges to introduce the unique characteristics of Korean
culture to the world.
AsiaNow is a production company founded in 2005 to creatively develop, produce and present innovative and exciting Asian contemporary physical theatre, dance and interdisciplinary arts. The company is also strongly involved in creative development, consultation and performing arts management.
For further information contact InKo Centre T: 044 2436 1224; E: email@example.com